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Product Review: Pureology Essential Repair System for Distressed Color-Treated Hair

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A friend accused me recently of having "expensive hair." I think it was a compliment. My hair is past my shoulders, highlighted and low-lit all sorts of pretty colors, and because I live smack in the middle of the Arizona desert, it's dry and high maintenance. So if that makes it expensive, bring it. I'm certainly a snob about the products I use and haven't been all that impressed with the new crop of naturals…until now. The new Essential Repair line from Pureology is just what my thirsty locks have been craving. Finally, a natural line with a little gusto.

We'll start with the Essential Repair Shampoo. According to the bottle, the formula calls on soy milk and pure biotin to nourish and organic olive oil and chamomile to give it a shine boost. The smell is uniquely pure (you can catch hints of the soy) and the consistency is lush and thick. The lather is excellent considering the shampoo is sulfate-free.

Next up, the Essential Repair Restorative Hair Masque. The jar comes packaged with a mini wide-tooth comb so you can work the product thoroughly into the hair. A super thick vanilla pudding consistency, the formula smells slightly like bananas, although I don't think there are any actually in it, and you'll pick up hints of vanilla, jasmine, and lavender. The masque works best if left on up to five minutes.

On days you skip the masque, the Essential Repair Instant Repair leave-in conditioner works to keep hair nourished and protected. The clear gel has a delicious scent (Vanilla? Sandalwood? Whatever it is, it smells good). The formula is lightweight and my hair ate it up.

We're not done yet! If you have an aversion to scissors like I do (the reason my hair is so darn long and unruly), the Essential Repair Split End Correcting Treatment is a must. Apply it directly to ends, or disperse it through your hair if you have layers.

Finally, douse your locks with my favorite product of the line-up, the Essential Repair Colour Max. A final spritz of this lightweight mist gives hair an extra boost of Anti-Fade Complex. Plus, it smells like wild roses.

All Pureology products are 100% vegan (meaning, of course, no bacon but also no animal by-products), contain an AntiFade complex, and are more concentrated than typical products so you use less and create less waste. Also, all their shampoos are ZeroSulfate so no worries about suds stripping your color. And you don't necessarily need all the products in the line-up to achieve soft, healthy hair…unless, of course, you have expensive hair. Pureology Essential Repair products start at $24 and are available at salons nationwide.

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About Lisa Kasanicky